Leonel Fernandez was born in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, on December 26th of 1953. He moved to New York City as a child where he spent his school years and attended high school.He was the Dominican Republic’s constitutional president between 1996-2000 and 2004-2008…
He has been the recipient of various “Honorius causa” Degrees from renowned Universities across the world such as Harvard University, Sorbonne University and Seton Hall University. Leonel Fernandez, though a democratic and progressive leader, turned a blind eye to corruption by his friends. This is a position paper on Leonel Fernandez. The Dominican Republic has been through ups and downs during the two terms overseen by Fernandez. Fernandez’s first term, stretching from 1996 to 2000 marked the arrival of democracy as a practice in the Dominican Republic after the previous President Joaquin Balaguer, who had been a reputed strong man ruling for the past four decades, died (BBC 1). Leonel Fernandez appealed to politicians beyond the traditional lines, which helped bring much-respected independents in his government. Leonel Fernandez recaptured power in the year 2004 with the hopes of the country on him to reprise a failing economy. Sure enough, the president stabilized the declining economy and restored it to aggressive growth. However, the politics that have dogged his administration have been less of an inspiration with the government run by party men and mired in some corruption scandals.
Like the neighboring country of Haiti, the poorer populace of the Dominican Republic feels the pressure of high global prices for food. Fernandez reacted to this by implementing subsidies for chicken, rice, wheat and milk, to be paid to the supermarkets, directly, by the government. (The Economist 1). While these measures proved politically effective, his opponents were worried about its cost to the national government. An agreement reached by the Dominican Republic and IMF in 2008 helped to fund various projects in the country including the new metro station in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The government of Leonel Fernandez also did make some progress on fixing the Dominican Republic’s deficient system of electricity distribution. Approximately 30% of the nation’s power supply is stolen, lower than the previous half (The Economist 1). However, his government largely failed in streamlining the key sector, with the state holding company, for example, employing approximately two thousand workers to carry out the work of twenty or thirty. Mr. Fernandez, though, stood by the underperforming boss, Radames Segura. While the Dominican Republic government uses oil-fired stations, they guarantee a fixed price of electricity. High crude prices saw the CDEEE’s subsidy rise to the point where it exceeded one billion dollars. Despite these shortcomings, Leonel Fernandez was a more charismatic and decisive leader when compared to Hipolito Mejia. For one, he is more likable by comparison, with his campaigns being more interactive and being feted almost like a top baseball player, normally wearing a baseball cap (Goble 1). Regardless of his use of public machinery like the police during his campaigns, he still managed to remain a cut above them without any of them accusing him of abuse of office or personal corruption. Even, as he relapsed into a Balaguer-like president, his people still stood by him, showing his admirable charisma. Politically, Leonel Fernandez outshone his main opponent back then. However, even with the manner in which Leonel Fernandez turned a blind eye ...
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